If dust or food enters the air passages, coughing acts as a protector. It also prevents mucus from causing infection on the chest. To suppress this action with cough mixtures can cause more harm than good.


The best treatment is steam inhalations. For dry coughs a linctus can be bought from the chemist. Make an appointment to see the doctor if coughing continues for more than a week or two after a common cold has cleared up, if coughing produces a yellow or green sputum – it may mean the lower air passages are infected, if breathing is accompanied by a pain in the chest or shortness of breath, or if coughing produces blood.